It’s hard to continuously think, research, and write high-quality articles. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Considering the fact that most people who take up blogging as a career are actually financially dependent on a regular day job, it is understandable to see these people struggle with staying motivated.
I know if you are reading this article, you must be struggling with your share of procrastination and uncertainty. Don’t worry, I also struggle with this situation.
I still struggle with procrastination, lack of motivation, and anxiety when I think about the future of my blog or revenue sources. But today, I know how to deal with these roadblocks and stay motivated like a pro. In this article, I am going to share with you some of my favorite strategies and tips that you can use to stick to the plan and stay motivated.
Believe me, it is worth all the hard work and grinding!
Understand blogging process
Blogging is more than just publishing articles on a website. It is a complicated process that involves a lot of tiny processes. And guess what? You are the one who needs to make sure that each individual process works like a charm. Unless you understand these various processes, you will quit multiple times.
Fortunately, these processes are not that hard to understand and anybody with determination can easily understand every process that’s included in the art of running a blogging career.
Process #1: Everything that you can control.
This process includes the setup of your blogging website, doing research on your niche, coming up with hundreds of article ideas, and then writing these articles. These are necessary factors that you can control. This process is also the hardest to stick to because it requires you to follow an identical content publishing process for a very long time. For some authority bloggers, this process is never-ending.
Imagine doing the same thing over and over again.
But if you want to transform your blog into a money-making venture, you must endure this process and fall in love with it. To this end, the other two processes don’t matter all that much. What you do in the first process will influence how the other two processes will react.
That’s the reason why people always recommend you to write about topics that you care about. You can’t just start a gardening blog if you don’t like mud and soil.
If you are passionate about a certain topic, you’ll not need that much motivation to keep going.
So if you are stuck in a blogging niche that you don’t actually care about, switch to something that you care about and see how it improves your overall blogging process.
Process #2: Everything that’s out of your control.
This process includes how Google and other search engines rank your website, how people interact with your content, and the chances for your content to go viral online.
These are unpredictable things and nobody can control these. If you could control any of these, you will be a billionaire. Creating a viral piece of content is not easy. Sometimes a random photo of an egg on Instagram could go viral while famous celebrities struggle to rake in such like and shares online.
Search engines are even worst. It takes a lot of time to earn the trust of any search engine. That’s the reason why brands today approach social media influencers to promote their products instead of authority bloggers.
Why is it relevant for you?
Well, if you are writing content to generate revenue, you are dependent on traffic coming from either social media or search engines.
Nobody knows how long it takes for a blog to attract organic search traffic from Google. If you focus too much on organic search traffic, you will feel defeated when you don’t receive any traffic even after months of pumping out long-form content.
What you need to understand is simple; this whole process is out of your control. Don’t think about this.
Focus on what you can do and what you wanted to do when you started this blog.
People often worry too much about search engines and external factors. They forget the fact that the whole purpose of running a blog is to provide solutions to people’s problems. The job of a search engine is to provide the best possible solution to its users.
If you have high-quality content published on your blog, search engines will rank it gradually. So, don’t worry too much about SEO and link building. You are primarily a blogger and then a marketer. So, the primary focus should be to publish as many articles as possible.
Process #3: The outcome.
When you start a business or a blog, you’d expect it to generate income after a few months. It’s quite normal.
The problem here is that there’s no guarantee. Even if everything goes right and you successfully publish hundreds of articles in a year, there’s no guarantee that you’ll generate any revenue. You could only hope for the best and follow the first process to see how your blog performs in the future.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t worry about traffic, money, or collaboration for at least the first year of starting your blog. Considering the competition in the blogging world today, it is safe to assume that one would have to publish more than 200 pieces of high-quality, long-form content to make a full-time income from blogging.
By high-quality, I mean well-thought-out content that covers a lot of sub-topics. Such articles clear all doubts in a user’s mind and there’s no need for them to find a similar article for more information.
Blogging is a risky career decision but if you stick to the plan and follow your process for at least 1-2 years and publish 200 articles, you will have a great chance of making money online. On the other hand, if your blog isn’t attracting any traffic even with this many articles, you might want to check to see if your website is blacklisted by search engines or not.
Create a schedule
Discipline is one of the most valuable qualities of a human being. A disciplined human can achieve almost anything in life.
A few weeks ago, I went for a hike. It was a nearby jungle that was suitable for hiking and biking. There were no tarmac roads but you could clearly see a path with no grass on it.
This path was not created by any authority or the city. In fact, this path was created as a result of thousands of people walking in the same direction using the same path.
Similarly, if you have discipline and create a schedule, you will be able to achieve your blogging goals and definitely generate money.
A schedule shouldn’t be too complex. Keep it as simple as possible and remove unnecessary activities if needed.
After you’ve completed framing your schedule, stick to it religiously. No matter what happens, you will follow this schedule.
Following a schedule will remove the need to think about stuff to do and procrastinate.
Don’t focus too much on the goal
I don’t blog to make money. I publish blogs because I am passionate about the said topics. Since early childhood, I was passionate about marketing, website design, and productivity. Growing up I always found new ways to cut down on the time spent on completing my homework and assignments.
That’s why I don’t bother myself too much with goals and targets. Heck, I don’t even set small milestones for my blogs. All I care about is finding solutions for people who are struggling with something.
Setting a goal adds an unnecessary burden on my shoulder. For example; let’s say that I set a goal of publishing 300 articles this year. Now, I have to push myself harder to publish this much content.
So, I plan out my content and try publishing content on time. But every now & then, I would be delayed due to personal problems, and boom, you hop on the hamster wheel trying to catch up to your schedule.
Believe me, we are often too harsh on ourselves. Setting such goals will always add a layer of stress and pressure to our minds. Blogging is about freedom and nobody is perfect. It is completely fine if you miss publishing content on a particular day. As long as you return back to your schedule, it will be all right in the end.
Be very patient, it’s a long game
As mentioned earlier in this article, blogging is a long game. On average, it might take your blog somewhere from 1 year to 2 years to generate income. Till then, you will have to pump out high-quality blog content. Some bloggers used to publish multiple articles in a single day in their initial days. Now, they are generating more than a 5-figure income monthly.
The reason why most people fail as bloggers is simple. They don’t believe in the process and quit too often. They spend 3 months writing content and believe that’s more than enough to generate content.
You need to patiently publish high-quality content for years before you see your first dollar. So, don’t get worked up because you aren’t able to generate much after just two months of publishing content.
Be a part of a community
Nobody can achieve great things on their own. You might have heard of people who climb Mount Everest but did you know that for just one person to climb Mount Everest successfully, there needs to be a team of hundreds of people who dedicate their time to helping this one person achieve their dream?
Similarly, blogging is also a team effort. Although you will have to do a lot of work on your own, interacting with like-minded people who are also on a similar journey will help you in staying motivated throughout your blogging journey. When I was starting out as a blogger, there were Facebook groups in which people shared their experiences and failures. After I joined this Facebook group, I read a post from an aspiring blogger who was planning to quit.
What surprised me was that many people encouraged this individual that if he kept on going, he will not regret it. Some of these people also reviewed his blog posts and gave constructive criticism. A few of them also gave him links to tutorials to help him fix some technical errors on his blog.
A positive support system is the best ally for a blogger.
Go to Facebook and join any blogging group where people share their experiences, doubts, and suggestions.
Don’t compare yourself with others
People from Asian countries aren’t unfamiliar with the constant comparison with others of similar age. Our parents have always compared us to people who are much more successful or are doing better in life. Unfortunately, we also inherit this problematic attitude. Instead and focusing on our own life, we focus on others. We compare ourselves with other people who are doing better in life.
This mistake is very common with bloggers as well. Considering the fact that you started blogging because you saw somebody make money online and reveal their income report, it makes perfect sense to feel sad when you are not able to achieve the same results after a few months. Seeing no results even after spending months publishing content could destroy the morale of any aspiring blogger and they eventually quit.
See, the problem here is not blogging or getting inspiration from successful bloggers. The problem here is simple, you are a completely different individual and your blogging journey will be unique. You may not be able to make money for one or maybe two years depending on the niche you select but if you have decent writing skills and you are consistent, you will definitely make money blogging.
In this age of instant gratification, most people want results as soon as possible. They are not ready to wait for one or two years and they are most definitely not willing to work for a better future.
Blogging is all about delayed gratification.
I was reading a book called, “The Psychology of Money” in which the author shared how Warren Buffett made most of his wealth. One might think that he must have made his wealth in his twenties or even his thirties but the fact is Warren Buffett made most of his wealth after he turned 50. It took Warren Buffett more than 50 years to become a billionaire and you are not even willing to dedicate 2 years of your life to a future that will provide you with financial Independence and freedom to do whatever you want.
Keep this in mind when you decide to quit next time.
Don’t make the same mistake that I’ve made countless Times.
You will see someone else succeed who started blogging right when you did, but they did not quit and now they are making a six-figure income with their blog. Furthermore, you will see them traveling all over the world on Instagram while you are stuck chasing money and doing freelance projects for clients who want to milk you as much as possible.
Remember, winners never quit and quitters never win.
Find a mentor
To be honest, I hate fake gurus. Self-proclaimed experts who seem to have all the answers to every single problem are pretty much scammers at this point. They just want you to purchase their expensive course that offers no real value.
So, who’s a mentor, and how to find one? Do I have to spend money?
A mentor is a person who became successful in blogging(in this case). It is pretty easy to fake success in the blogging industry. So be careful when selecting your mentor.
Since blogging is a broadly explored topic, you will never run out of people to learn from. I have learned so much from free blog posts published on Problogger.net and many similar blogs that It makes me laugh when I see people spend thousands of dollars on a premium course that teaches the same stuff.
Search for a personal blogger who just shares their journey as a blogger and follow their footstep. Pay attention to their failures and setbacks. You will learn more from failures than success stories and that’s the reality of it.
Mindfulness is a pretty complicated topic. So, I will try explaining it in simpler terms. You could describe mindfulness as a process of self-realization and awareness. Accepting when you are wrong, appreciating yourself when you complete a task, and enjoying the present without judging yourself and thinking too much about irrelevant things.
It’s a form of meditation that will help you calm down and understand things from a better perspective.
Here’s how I practice mindfulness.
Turn off your smartphone, remove all distractions such as loud music, computer noises, and more, close your eyes and breathe in about out slowly.
There’s nothing wrong or right, there’s no failure or success and you are present in the middle of everything in life. Everything is balanced and you are neither happy nor sad.
I know it sounds confusing. Once you start practicing mindfulness, all this will start making perfect sense to you as well.
You can also follow this 5-minute mindfulness meditation guide initially.
It will be hard in the first few days but after that, you’ll feel refreshed and tackle problems with a stoic nature.
Develop a hobby
Developing a hobby is not easy. First, you need to find out what you are passionate about and then you need to find out if it is feasible to pursue it as a hobby.
For most people, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, reading books, cooking and gardening are some of the best hobbies to follow but there are other people who do not want to invest a lot of that time into a hobby.
I cannot tell you which hobby to select as it is a completely subjective topic but if you are somebody who likes gardening, you should definitely spend some time each day doing something in your garden. I am talking about gardening because I, myself grow a bunch of indoor plants and vegetables in my backyard garden. Believe me, it is therapeutic and a stress buster.
It also helps me take my mind off blogging and all the technical staff associated with it. If I am not able to spend time in my garden, I’ll be doing something in my kitchen.
Lately, I have learned that spending too much time in the kitchen is not good for my health so I have started cycling and Mountain biking as a hobby as well. Cycling gives me a workout which also gives me a sense of accomplishment. I don’t have any goals or targets when I go cycling. All I care about is the experience associated with cycling.
Start blogging as a side hustle
Blogging as a career option is an unwise decision if you already don’t have a reliable and stable source of income. If you don’t have any source of income while blogging you will be in survival mode. You must make money as soon as possible or else you will run out of savings and end up running back to your day job.
So how do you go about building a blogging business?
There is a secret that nobody talks about in the blogging industry.
Yes, you need consistency and a lot of hard work coupled with a determination to become a successful blogger today but did you know that you don’t have to spend 10 hours a day on your blog? In fact, on average, I only spend about four hours a day working on my blog. Even when I was starting as a blogger, I was only spending 4 to 5 hours each day writing content on my blog. Believe me, if you know how to pump out one article every two days, you’ll only be spending 4 hours every day on your website.
Here is how I pump out one high-quality article every two days:
Step #1: Spend at least one hour doing Research and collecting all the citations that you’ll include in your article.
Step #2: Spend 30 minutes collecting all the screenshots and creating some images on Canva. Don’t spend too much time on images and focus on data-driven screenshots primarily.
Step #3: Create a few important subheadings for your article in less than 1 hour.
Step #4: Write down the introduction and the conclusion of the article within 30 minutes.
Step #5: This is where you write your entire article down. I usually spend two hours writing an article. Since I’ve already done my research and collected all the information that I need, I don’t have to spend that much time in the writing process. Also, if you want, you can also use a Speech To Text app on your phone or computer to get this done.
Step #6: After the writing process is done, I spend around 30 to 40 minutes proofreading and editing the article. Once this process is completed, I give my article one final read before publishing it. If I am satisfied with the article I click on the “publish” button.
Step #1 to Step #4 is completed on the first day and the remaining two steps are completed on the second day. The second day is also the day when the article is published and this is how I manage to publish an article every two days.
Many blogging experts recommend people publish thirty articles a month but I don’t recommend such a frequency because it will burn you out and you are more likely to quit if you set such a difficult goal. Plus, it is not just about the number of articles that you have on your website. If you want to make money online you need to publish high-quality content that actually solves people’s problems. Publishing every single day will force you to write on topics that are not relevant enough.
I agree that you might not be able to write an article in three or four hours initially but once you get the hang of this process you will be able to turn out high-quality content every alternate day.
This process also allows you to have a regular day job without breaking a sweat. Having a secure job will help you in following the journey with determination and consistency. Since you have a reliable flow of cash, you don’t have to worry about making money with your blog as soon as possible.
Conclusion: Staying motivated as a blogger
Here’s a quote from Elon Musk – “If you need inspiring words, don’t do it.”
I strongly stand by these words because I never needed motivation or inspiration to stick to blogging. People who look for motivation don’t understand the process and believe in themselves before diving into the blogging world.
Blogging demands more effort and dedication than your day job and it is definitely not for people who just sit around all day and hope things get better magically.
I truly cannot teach you to stay motivated. But, the tips I shared in this article will help you in pushing forward a bit and stay on track.
You must be doing something wrong, this article will help you identify those faulty steps and optimize them for a better blogging experience.
Whatever you do, don’t quit.